Last updated November 28, 2014

Kick-up your cranberry sauce with some pepper jelly.

I’ve been making the same cranberry sauce recipe for years. I do not like the canned, jellied sauce, so I boil down fresh berries with sugar, add a couple of Cuties oranges and ½ cup of jelly.

I’ve always added apricot and pineapple jelly, but the other day things changed.

I was about to go live on-air in a Google+ Hangout with Chefs Eric Ripert and Michael White when my husband said he wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but he couldn’t find any jelly. I told him to just look in the fridge.

He never found the jar of strawberry. He only found the pepper jelly. So he made a peanut butter and pepper jelly sandwich. After the Hangout, he said, “That pepper jelly isn’t really good with peanut butter.”

I had to laugh. But it did inspire me to use the pepper jelly. Since I was planning to make an early Thanksgiving feast for the blog, cranberry sauce was the perfect solution.

Instead of my traditional apricot and pineapple mix, I used pepper jelly and fig preserves. I actually liked the sweet heat even more than my standard recipe. It really helps punch through the array of rich flavors often served on Thanksgiving.

So thanks honey for the laugh and inspiration.

Cranberry Pepper Jelly Sauce

Cranberry Pepper Jelly Sauce


  • 1 bag fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 clementines
  • ¼ cup pepper jelly
  • ¼ cup fig preserves

Place cranberries and sugar in a saucepot. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Peel the clementines and chop in a food processor. Stir the clementines and jellies into the cranberry sauce.

Serve warm or chilled.